9:23 pm is time of latest comments. This is not blog style and proceeds down the page with time.
This is not blog style and will proceed down the page with time this evening.
First off, here is the link to the county Auditor’s election results page.
The first results may be posted as early as 8:20 pm or as late as 8:40 pm, if past years are a guide. The auditor’s staff and temporary staff ballot processers have been opening ballots for some days now and those will be run for counting through the computer immediately after 8 pm. It will be the only run for this evening, with the next count being Wednesday afternoon about 4 or 5 pm. Ballots collected tonight from the 18 ballot drop boxes around the county will be processed tomorrow and the rest of this week.
KMRE community radio is providing live commentary on the election this evening. Now at 7:15 pm with KMRE news commenters Stephanie Kountouros, Devlin Sweeney, Dave Willingham and guest Satpal Sidhu.
A few predictions. Several of us writers were enjoying a drink earlier this evening and we took down individual predictions. Here are just a couple where we mostly agreed. Just for the fun of it. We all feel the jail tax will be rejected. For the second time. And we were all surprised that the others thought the same. We all think that Todd Donovan hurt himself with his angry accusations against Amy. He was and is going to win, but some think Amy will get over 40% - far more than she would have had he been civil during the campaign. Personally, I think she has a chance to win. Most think Sheppard is a win at Port. Surprisingly, most think Bell will also win at Port. The word “most” is as cloaking as revealing as our group varied over two hours between 5 and 8. Consensus was Barry and Mary Kay will be very very close. And to close it out, we think Eric will be lucky to get 11%. So, we shall see if a handful of political junkies have a clue about the voters in their community.
Ballot boxes were locked at 8 pm and ballots collected. We can no longer say the polls have closed because there are no longer polls for people to go to and vote. Still waiting for the one and only posting of results this evening.
8:14 pm - results posted. Jail tax rejected again.
Stunning loss for the second Jail tax issue. Two years ago, it lost by about 1,100 votes. Tonight it is 6,000 plus votes behind. IMO, there is no chance of this reversing. Of 42,544 votes cast, 24,576 votes are rejecting, and 17,968 votes approving the tax. The common sense of the voters of both our cities and rural ares is again shown. The mayors and council members around the county overwhelmingly endorsed this tax. The people are saying no. Biggest issue on the ballot. Wonderful outcome.
Port. Both Dan Robbins and Ken Bell are holding narrow leads. These leads can easily change between now and Friday at 5 pm when the ballot counting will be virtually finished. In fact we should know by Thursday afternoon when fresh results are posted late afternoon. A huge local liberal effort went into trying to get Michael Sheppard elected. For this race to be this close - within 200 votes with 41,676 votes cast - is a huge surprise as so many political experts I talked to over the campaign season were so sure Sheppard would sweep Robbins aside. Ken Bell was given a better chance of running a close race but still losing to Barry Wenger. Well, Ken has a 1,600 vote lead and that can change but probably will not.
Wrap up. The makeup of the Port will take a couple more days to sort out. Tyler Byrd is the new county council member. Barry should keep his lead and return, and Todd has won his landslide. But the big news is the defeat of the jail tax. We now have a leadership vacuum in our county government with the sheriff, executive and prosecutor all having shown they are at odds with the citizens of our county. They are not leading us as we have rejected their leadership very solidly. We need new leaders - and not their hand picked friends.
Oh - and, if I may. We political junkies did have a fairly decent understanding of our voters. Not bad.